If you're here for the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG), you're in the right place, and this post may lift your spirits. Since so many have been sharing my journey to publication with me, I wanted to make sure y'all were the first to know that I've signed with Jordy Albert of The Booker Albert Agency.
(Yes I think of Geordie LaForge every time I say her name. lol)
With the bold new revolution in publication options, you may be wondering why I chose to go with an agent, and to be honest, I've strongly considered over the last few months if I really needed one. But I'll tell you, that after talking to Jordy about my project, I knew it was the move I wanted to make. She "got" my story and my characters, but even more, she wanted to make it better. That's what I'm talkin' bout.
But let's rewind a bit here, to oh, somewhere in early September during the entries for a little event called GUTGAA, (AKA Gearing Up To Get An Agent,) hosted by the fantastic Deanna Barnhart. Now, Deana hosted this event last year on a much smaller scale, and it was a lot of fun, but this year, since Deana signed with her own agent, she went all out and un-agented writers were scrambling to get in during the submission windows for a chance to catch an agent's eye. There were two windows each for email entries of queries and first 500 words. Both closed within the first MINUTE! That's how big GUTGAA was.
We even trended on Twitter, and the party with the #GUTGAA tag at the time the windows opened was a mixture of excitement and disappointment. Not everyone made it in, of course. And believe it or not, I was one of the ones who didn't make it. I hit send at the exact second and was too late. The submission had filled. But you know, I was cool with that, and there were so many new writers that I had never met who HAD gotten in, it was just fun trying and being a part of the excitement.(Which I lovingly dubbed the GUTGAA Geek Train)
Later that night, though, Deanna sent me an email that said some of the entries were duplicates which made room for a few more, and mine was one of them. Yay! After not making the second round of Cupid's contest with the same story, this was total good news, BUT I still had to get past the writer review panel to make it to the agent round, and there was quite a nice line up of agents.
Long story short, my entry, The Desiree, made it with flying colors, which was super cool and made me feel all warm and fuzzy. During the very first day of the agent round I got a request right away--the only request I'd get. A partial from Jordy Albert, who at the time was with Corvisiero Agency.
To be honest, I wasn't familiar with Jordy, so I immediately looked up her bio on the agency website and after reading it I was like, "Wow she sounds perfect for my story." No joke, it was uncanny how well her interests fit my story. So I emailed her my partial the same hour she requested it and a few days later she requested the full. That was a great sign, and I still had some partials out with other agents, so I liked the speed in which Jordy operated. I also entered Pitch Live and got two more partial requests and sent those off.
About a week later, right before I was leaving for a cross country trip, Jordy emailed me back with an R & R. (revise and resubmit) She listed the things she liked and the things she didn't and said she'd be willing to take another look if I made some changes. Okay, I was excited about the R& R because that meant she liked it enough to give it another chance, PLUS she had an awesome idea for the ending that set a lightbulb off in my head. She told me in her email that she really liked my characters, and for me, that was the clencher, because that was the most important part of my story--is having someone "get" my characters.
So I was flustered with the revisions because I wanted to get to work, but I'm on my way to the west coast with kids in tote and not a lot of time to work on my story. Plus, the time zone changes would catch up with me and I'd just want to chill and do nothing that required brain power. But in between the traveling and fun, I stared at a notebook with Jordy's notes and tried to figure out what changes I wanted to make.
And then, after returning home and slaving away on my story, I sent it off to my outstanding critique partner, Kathryn Sheridan Kupanoff, who coincidentally just signed with her agent in the same month! And she, being the rockstar she is, read the whole thing in a few days time and had my notes back to me for some final tweaks, and off it went. Into Jordy's inbox for a second time.
About a week later Jordy responded that she loved the changes and the characters were awesome. (*blushes*) That's the enthusiasm I was hoping for--the kind that every writer longs to hear. But Jordy also had some news that she was leaving the Corvisiero Agency and starting up a brand new agency with Brittany Booker (whom you may know as Cassie Mae's agent if you follow Cassie's blog)
Of course, I had a few questions about that and Jordy answered everything. We talked on the phone about her endeavors with the new agency, as well as some additional tweaks to my story. And really this is what I dig about Jordy so much--she loves the story, but still sees how it can be better. That's what I want--to put out the best story I possibly can.
Plus, Jordy is smart and down to earth, and loves the Goonies and Dr. Who. ('Nuff said.)
I didn't feel it necessary to look further, so I notified the others with my partials and that was that.
The great news for you if you're querying, is that Jordy and Brittany of The Booker Albert Literary Agency are open to queries for YA and adult stories so you can query them anytime based on their instructions on their website. I'm stoked to be working with Jordy and excited for this joint endeavor.
Meanwhile, I'm in the revision trenches and
and to my Chicago expert go-to guy, Michael di Gesu, who answered all things Chicago related at anytime I asked, thanks Michael!
Thanks for stopping by to share my story and announcement! What I've learned on this journey so far, is that yes rejections suck, but it's just the process we have to endure to get that one person who really gets it, who wants to make it work. Some find that agent/editor right away, others don't, but it's never a reason to stop looking. It feels great to find someone who is enthusiastic about our work and WANTS to invest their time and efforts into it. In terms of agenting, why would you want anything less?